1 Take the Screens Off Your Windows
You’ll get 30% more sunlight shining indoors without screens on your windows.
Here’s the best part: Sunlight warms your room and saves you money on your heating bill!
Be sure to store your screens in your garage or basement where they won’t get damaged. In the spring you’ll want to put them back on so you can keep that 30% of the sun out and run your cooling system less.
2 Change Your Bulbs
Replace those incandescent bulbs and their yellowy light with LEDs, which produce a brighter, whiter light.
But get your bright right:
The higher the K rating on the bulb, the cooler and whiter its light.
For cool, white light, opt for a bulb rated 3,500K to 4,100K.
For blue-white light that’s closest to natural daylight, use a bulb between 5,000K and 6,500K.
Unless you live in Sweden (see above) you may want to leave the uber-high K bulbs for grow rooms and seasonal affective disorder therapy clinics — because they’re as bright as real sunlight on a hot summer day at noon. You’ll need sunglasses to read.
3 Hang Mirrors
Make the most of that weak winter light by bouncing it around the room with mirrors.
If you don’t want the distraction of seeing your reflection all the time, use a large, convex one — also known as a fish-eye mirror. It will amplify light better than a flat one.
Another option: Hang a gallery wall of small mirrors.
4 Trim Branches and Bushes That Block Light
If you look out your windows and see the tops of your bushes, grab your pruning shears and get whacking.
You don’t want anything blocking that precious natural light. Same for tree limbs that may be arching down and blocking windows. Cut them off.
5 Clean Your Windows
Dirty windows block a lot of natural light.
Admit it, yours are kind of cruddy because who remembers to block out an afternoon to clean the windows?
So get it on your list. Clean the glass inside at least once a month and the glass outside once a year. Your serotonin level will thank you.
6 Add Plants
Putting pots of plants around your room will remind you that spring and green will return.
Match plants to the amount of light you have, because dead and dying plants are depressing. Tropicals that thrive in indirect light are usually the best choice. If you have a sunny window you’ve got more plant options.
Bonus points for adding a plant that blooms in the winter, like a kaffir lily or anthurium.